Sunday, March 15, 2009

New York Times on Bob Guskind and the Future of Gowanus Lounge

* This isn't directly related to Sunset Park, and it's unusual in that it's more editorial than observation. So walk on by if that's not your thing. *

Today's New York Times has a short article pondering what will happen to Gowanus Lounge now that Bob Guskind is not around to plunge into the topics that generate joy and disgust and fear and hope across Brooklyn. I don't know about you all, but Gowanus Lounge was a bit of an addiction for me. It still is, even though new items haven't been posted since the obituary his close friends created as a post. I used to check in during the morning, and then back twice in the afternoon, baby's nap-willing. I always knew that there would be something new up since I last checked.

In the article, different people comment on whether or not Gowanus Lounge should be kept up. That is, whether other contributors could or should continue what Bob Guskind started - without his active input. I have to differ with one of the contributors when she said that new posts would be "pushing Bob's work down." While his work wouldn't be the "newest" postings (and thus not at the "top" of the page), his influence on bloggers across the borough has been so strong that anyone who helped GL to continue couldn't help but reflect some of Bob Guskind's work.

I think that if a small group of people close to RG, or one very motivated person, were to serve as publisher, Gowanus Lounge could continue in the same manner and form. There would be a lot missing; Guskind's passion for Coney Island and his biting commentary on irresponsible development have been echoed, but few have been able to match his in-depth and detailed "analysis" of the events closest to his heart.

Featuring the fun items like the "Street Couch Series" and videos from around Brooklyn could continue. Linking to various other sites that have compelling or just plain strange (or goofy) items could continue. Focus on development (and destruction) in Brooklyn could continue. Hopefully the passing of the Gowanus Lounge founder won't mean the death of something that meant so much to him. Hopefully it will mean that others who relied on Gowanus Lounge for information will be inspired to go out and find it, and then share it themselves. How great would it be if more people got involved in their neighborhoods, Community Boards, community councils, and so on? Imagine, something to talk about other than rents and square footage.

I think that would be a fitting legacy from someone who was intensely vigilant where Brooklyn's well-being was concerned.

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